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Old 07-18-2009, 10:36 AM
Thirdcoast Kiteman's Avatar
Thirdcoast Kiteman Thirdcoast Kiteman is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Frankfort, Michigan
Posts: 16
Default Trainer Kites

The Hydra is a power kite/trainer from HQ Kites. This is a fun kite when you're at the beach or if you're interested in kiteboarding, but are a bit nervous about flying a 20ft. kite in 10-15kn wind. When I first started kiteboarding, beginning with a trainer kite was really helpful. Though I had been flying kites for years, I was a bit aprehensive about bar controls, depowering, and relaunching. Most schools/instructors will start you with a trainer. They are from 1/2 to 1/3 the size of the kite you will be using to board with, but they still can generate a heap of power! The kite I started with was the Hydra 300. It's a foil kite and is a bit different from other foils in that it's a closed cell design; that allows for relaunches if crashed in the water (which was one area I was concerned about...what if I crash in the water, can I successfully relaunch?) Relaunching was accomplished by pulling on the center depower line, and that too required a small amount of practice...you can reverse lanuch (kite nose down)...once you've tried it a few times, you get it, and it's pretty easy...considering how many times I've crashed that kite on land and water, it's really nice being able to pull a center line, the kite rises, turns, you let go of the center line, and it takes off again. Playing with the Depower line was helpful too, if you get into trouble with a wind gust or lose control, you want to know what will happen in an emergency before you have a 7m kite over you. The last thing that was an adjustment was the turning speed...I was used to lightning turns from stunt kites, but kiteboard/trainer kite is a bit slower, and you have to anticipate your turn rate when your near the ground.

Using a trainer was really, really helpful in gaining confidence with the kite (knowing I could control it, launch and land, and not get blown out to sea!), and even when you move on to a full size kite for boarding, they are still a lot of fun. We use ours for body-drags around the lake, and for body surfing waves, when the conditions are good, or even for kiting on land with roller-blades or all-terrain boards.

I have videos of this kite on my site if you're interested.

http://www.thirdcoastkites.com/Kite_Boarding_101.html
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